Tag: Film

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Movie Aspect Ratios, Audience Immersion, and Eggs

 

I have the Blu-ray of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and had been watching the film on Turner Classic Movies as I puttered around on the computer this morning. My brothers and I originally saw the film when it was first released on a curved Cinerama screen at one of the Century domed theaters in San Jose, CA (adjacent to the Winchester Mystery House). It’s the same Cinerama theater that my brothers and I watched John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix when it was first released.

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I have a friend who is a National Guardsman, and we shared small talk at work over the course of many years. One day I asked him if he ever deployed to Iraq, as so many others in my state had. He went on to tell me how he would have been honored to but […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. First, Be Good

 

I hate to admit this, but MacGyver is not good. I’m not referring to the unwatchable reboot currently withering away on CBS. No, I mean the original Richard Dean Anderson vehicle of awesomeness which aired from 1985-1992.

Dat dat dat dat dat dat daaaaa, dat dat daaaaa. The theme song gets you pumped, right? It makes we want to go rifling through the kitchen junk drawer, grab the broken can openers and fashion a defibrillator, just in case we need one. Or take the mercury out of those unused curly cue light bulbs (still in the four-year-old box, because they suck) and make…something with mercury, and batteries!

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Art of Unplanned

 

Last year’s Gosnell and the recently released Unplanned present a thorny problem for Conservatives who choose to write about film. The morals that drive these films are undoubtedly in line with the cultural right since both are anti-abortion. That is their sole raison d’etre. It is the reason the films were made and the reason viewers bought their tickets.

So their status as art is dubious from the get-go. The question of whether or not film, and photography generally, is an art is still seriously debated in certain circles. But leaving aside that very complicated discussion, which seems to have no purchase on the popular imagination, these two films represent a perfect litmus test for whether or not a film enthusiast of the Conservative persuasion has integrity as both a person of virtue and critic of the moving picture.

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I’ll be seeing Glass and If Beale Street Could Talk tonight! Would love to hear some *SPOILERS* discussion on this post. Don’t worry, I won’t check until I get back from seeing them. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why It’s So Hard to Understand What a Silent Movie Audience Saw and Felt

 

Last month I re-read Leonard Maltin’s Behind the Camera, interviews with five famous directors of photography, and it got me interested in re-reading Kevin Brownlow’s The Parade’s Gone By, a longtime favorite. Camera was published in 1970 when Maltin was only 21; Parade was published in 1968, based heavily on interviews that Brownlow did during a 1964 trip to America, when he was 26. Both men are to be commended for knowing about and seeking out some of the then-forgotten filmmakers of the silent and early sound eras, many of whom were still around and delighted to have a chance to tell their stories. Now it’s a half-century later.

Brownlow’s was the more influential, though both books were coming to attention at the historical moment when film scholarship was really taking off. Brownlow’s thesis is simply that modern people look down on silent films because they’ve never seen a good one, and never seen one properly shown. In fact, he claims they’re the height of cinema, better than sound films once you properly see and understand them. He builds a good case but oversells it some. Still, there are so many great anecdotes, interviews, and learned explanations. Chapters on the making of Ben Hur and Robin Hood would be classic articles all by themselves.

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A Film by David Lowery More

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Directed by Michael Gracey   More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. David Lean’s Vast Landscapes and Critical Details

 

David Lean made great films. He made poignant love stories, comedies, family dramas, and, later in his career, epics with casts of thousands in panoramic settings several miles wide. He featured enormous and detailed sets depicting cities like Moscow in the winter for Doctor Zhivago, the Jordanian port of Aqaba off the Red Sea on the Mediterranean in southern Spain for Lawrence of Arabia, and a complete Irish coastal village for Ryan’s Daughter. If anything, Lean demonstrated to generations of filmmakers who came after what could be done with the help of a dedicated film crew on location and with real people cast as extras — to create films on a grand scale that are now rendered, sometimes not very believably, on the computer.

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Need a break from the insanity and idiocy of politics and the news? The following are recommendations for free viewing on Amazon Prime, for those of you (and me) who may not have gotten around to seeing some of these films in a theater; or they were films with very limited theatrical release: More

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Just watched the excellent Netflix 3-part documentary, Five Came Back on filmmakers Frank Capra, John Huston, John Ford, George Stevens and William Wyler who left Hollywood to lend their expertise to educate and to boost American morale as well as document the conflict and horror of WWII. With commentary from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, […]

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Taliesin Nexus’ flagship program, the Liberty Lab for Film is again accepting applications for next season’s program. Past participants and their films have screened at film festivals all over the country, picking up awards along the way. Don’t miss out on this one of a kind opportunity. http://www.facebook.com/TaliesinNexus/videos/1070727389631981/ More

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Last night I watched Calvary (2014), a very interesting film about an Irish priest who is told in a confessional by a child abuse victim (who we don’t see) that the victim is going to kill him, though he knows this particular priest is a decent man who had nothing to do with the abuse the […]

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With the Oscars over I thought I’d recommend a documentary film that was not involved, but that some Ricochet members might find interesting – Senna. After compiling and editing countless hours of video and audio the film was released in 2011. The affection for Ayrton Senna and the desire to have something in his memory drove […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Hit Thriller Get Out Makes Social Commentary Fun

 

A young black man walks through a still, upper-middle class suburban neighborhood at night. Hopelessly lost in the sameness of the streets, he mutters about the lousy directions he was given. Noticing a car following him, he keeps his head down and keeps moving. The car pulls over ahead of him; he turns the other way, not wanting any conflict. Without warning, he’s hit from behind, tossed into the trunk, and the car speeds off.

The opening scene demonstrates that Get Out is a thriller, not the comedy that writer and first-time director Jordan Peele is most known for. He’s half of the hilarious sketch duo Key & Peele, but has a lifetime obsession with the horror genre. This isn’t the gorefest of Evil Dead or Saw; think more Stepford Wives or Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

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While many better-known celebrities died in 2016, one that hit me in the gut was the death of Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. Many (including Roger Ebert) found his films too arid, but even at his driest, I loved his work. It made me think differently about what film could be. A few nights ago, I […]

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On the Weekly Substandard podcast from early December, Vic Matus, Sonny Bunch, and Jonathan Last discussed guilty pleasures of the TV and movie variety. Confessions ranged from Gilmore Girls to Party of Five to Bring it On. I’m serious about that third one. Very amusing stuff. But in the course of the podcast, Last suggested […]

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If you’re confused by Jews’ response to Trump, whether the support he has from the religious and particularly the religious Israeli Jews or the powerful, loud opposition he faced from the non-religious American Jewish community, it will pay to remember The Pianist. The story: A talented Jewish pianist from Warsaw is saved from certain death by […]

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Ok, so it’s not exactly my book. It’s our book. I’m only one of twenty-three authors and one of two editors. (But I think I did more work than the others, and the book was my idea.) I like this artwork: Lewis overlooking a cityscape drawn with an old-school sci-fi vibe that makes me think […]

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I’m starting to feel like I go see these Marvel movies less out of general interest and more out of an obligation. With Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge playing in the next theater (I’m seeing it tomorrow), it was like I was dragged kicking and screaming to Doctor Strange instead. More

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